Modern times have brought along with the advancements, problems of their own. Today our society is plagued by a number of issues, one currently on the rise being the issue of gender equality and its true achievement. In recent times there has been a massive increase in the amount of importance given to this issue and a number of attempts to equalize the balance have been made in its stead. Various roles have been swapped and many efforts have been made but the question stands, has gender equality been truly achieved?
The main reason on the basis of which this cause of gender equality was launched was the continuous objectification of women and rejection of women in the work environment and public as a whole. The constant abuse led to the birth of the modern-day feminists, people in favor of the achievement of equal rights for women in the society, tending to sometimes tip a little too much in favor of women. They came into existence in response to what have been named as misogynists, people who strongly oppose the rights reserved for women and oppose women as a whole, crudely representing the conservative men. However this is a glimpse of the days of the past. Today’s society, while not completely, but to some extent has reformed itself accordingly. Many efforts have been made in order to ensure that women get their deserved rights and the general concept of male supremacy is erased to setup true gender equality. A large amount of these efforts have gone a long way and have equalized the two to a certain extent but in my opinion, no, gender equality has not been truly achieved.
Today if we look around ourselves, we see a lot of opportunities, that were once labeled exclusively for men but are now open for women as well. The women of today see a larger amount of respect in the society as compared to the past but in my opinion there is still work to be done to truly achieve gender equality. We see women get their due rights and enjoy the same social status as men but there are plenty of cases of women misusing the rights they have been given and women given more rights than given to men. In my opinion, our society has tipped a little too much towards catering to women.
I recall a personal event that largely influenced my point of view. I once visited a famous wildlife park resort in the locality with my family. The moment we stepped out of the car and at the entrance of the resort, a large board greeted us reminding us of the importance of women empowerment and gender equality. A look taken and we moved on into the wildlife park. As soon as we stepped foot inside the gates we met yet another board blaring out the same exact words. Taking a fleeting glance we continued on our tour. However, during the entire tour I noticed that one could find a differently rendered board but carrying the same words at every ten feet or so along the walking track. In addition to this, I noticed the somewhat peculiar differentiation in the quality of the facilities provided. So much so, that I happened to go through a rather surprising experience. The gents and ladies bathrooms were placed side by side with a wall dividing the two at one end of the main gates. Although the park was littered by small bathrooms but apparently, these were the main bathrooms. I needed to use one but the moment I stepped foot in it, the power went out leaving the bathroom in complete darkness at a time when the night was beginning to set in. Regardless, I moved on but taking a look at the gross conditions of the bathrooms with the flashlight of my phone I decided to leave immediately and quickly made my way to the exit. Interestingly, as soon as I exited the bathrooms I noticed a flood of light coming from the ladies bathroom, and as my cousin later told me the conditions were rather luxurious. This was just a personal experience of mine, one amongst thousands. In fact this is an event rather on the lighter side of the issue, an issue that holds a much worse and darker side. A quick search is bound to turn up records of countless occasions where the darker side comes to light.
For example, last year a case was raised in the United States accusing a teenager of the heinous crime of rape. The teenager, an aspiring football star at his college, set to start his professional career suddenly found himself entangled in this mess. The woman concerned continuously accused him while he fervently denied the claims every time crying out for his innocence. He was sent to jail for some time because naturally the man was deemed guilty. The case was dragged in court for more than six months and gained international coverage. And finally a few months ago the case was laid to rest. How? The woman accepted that her claims had been false and no such thing had ever happened. The boy, now a man was finally free of the shackles but he had nothing to return to anymore. His career was destroyed; he had the stain of spending time in jail on his self and was now recognized as a sex offender. The woman however walked away scott-free without the slightest of repercussions. Where his name had been bolded in the headlines everywhere, the identity of the women had been kept a secret at most occasions. This case is a prime example of how the rights are misused and are given more importance, but not the only one.
Drawing a conclusion, our society, in the efforts to equalize the two sides from one side has overdone it and as a result has tipped to the other extreme. A social system once centered on men is now centered on women. Gender equality in its entirety has not been truly achieved and in my opinion there is still a long way to go before we can ensure the attainment of this noble goal.
Written by: Muhammad Basit Khan